The Kings’ mercurial internal search for a first-line left winger has led them to team captain, and natural right winger, Dustin Brown. When the Kings play Chicago tomorrow night, Brown will become the sixth player — following Ryan Smyth, Brad Richardson, Andrei Loktionov, Scott Parse and Dwight King — to start a game in that spot. When I talked to Brown at the end of the 2008-09 season, after a stretch when he had been playing on the left, Brown said he “would prefer the right side” but also said, “I have no problem playing left wing.” So we’ll see how it turns out. In pairing Brown and Wayne Simmonds with Anze Kopitar, coach Terry Murray is clearly looking for some energy and havoc, and players who can create space for Kopitar. Will it work? Here’s what Murray said about the move today…

MURRAY: “I’ve been battling with the thought of putting Brownie back on the left wing, last year and at times this year. I really felt — and I do feel, still — that he’s a right winger, a power-forward right winger, but I had a meeting with him this morning, to discuss the importance of putting your top group of guys together, consolidate and work our way out of this. He assured me that he has no problem with it. I know that he had a great Olympics with the U.S. team, playing on the left side. I did have him there a few times last year, and he’s fine with it. It gives me two veteran players with Kopi. I felt that Kinger [Dwight King] did a good job there, but the fact of the matter is, he’s a young guy and there are some areas of the game that we need to finish better, and have extended time in the offensive zone. I think it gives me that look now, with Brownie up there.”

Question: For any player, what’s the biggest adjustment to switching sides like that?

MURRAY: “It’s receiving passes. It’s more on the breakouts in your own end. The puck is coming up on your backhand, and your positioning is different. You’re facing your D, you have to turn, make a pivot differently to make that second pass. But one thing that I’ve seen with Brownie, in his play, he’s got such a powerful, strong base, and he’s such a strong guy, that he’s able to handle the pressure that’s coming to him from the checking side of the game, and continue to make that play. Or he’s quick enough to be able to carry the puck, himself, out of that situation. On the plus side, attacking off that left-wing side, for him, with his speed, to be able to pull it and go hard to the net, is a very favorable look for the player on that side.”

Question: Is this something you see as a long-term move, or more temporary?

MURRAY: “Well, we have injured players right now. Ponikarovksy is out of the lineup with a broken finger, and so when he’s healthy and back at it, it helps me fill a spot we’re missing right now. So I can’t say it’s permanent, no. We’ll make that decision when we get there.”

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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